My new part­ner’s prob­lem has left me clue­less and wor­ried for fu­ture

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - MARY O’CONOR -

I’m 49 and have been sep­a­rated four years hav­ing left a mar­riage which I’d been un­happy in for a long time and should have left in my thir­ties. I have grown up chil­dren, a happy ca­reer, and no ma­jor is­sues — life is re­ally very good.

Af­ter dip­ping in and out of on­line dat­ing for a while, last month I mes­saged a man, had our first date and took it from there.

We have so much in com­mon and from the be­gin­ning it was ob­vi­ous that this has huge po­ten­tial. We are the same age, and are both healthy, nor­mal weight, at­trac­tive, hard work­ing peo­ple who are very at­tracted to each other.

But here’s the catch. He has erec­tile dys­func­tion.

We could kiss all day long and his oral sex is for me without ques­tion the best ever. I only very rarely or­gasmed from it be­fore, pen­e­tra­tive sex be­ing far more suc­cess­ful for me. But I have a high sex drive, I love pen­e­tra­tive sex and the thought of not hav­ing it makes me so sad.

In fair­ness to him, and for his own sake not mine, he de­cided to visit his GP. This had been an is­sue be­fore for him. His ex wife sounds toxic and had called him im­po­tent on oc­ca­sions.

His GP pre­scribed Cialis but it wasn’t suc­cess­ful the first time. He started to get aroused when I gave him oral sex but the erec­tion al­most com­pletely dis­ap­peared when he started putting on the con­dom and no pen­e­tra­tion hap­pened. I felt we needed to give try­ing a rest for fear it be­came a con­stant is­sue for him.

I’m un­sure what to do. I have looked up nat­u­ral reme­dies and hyp­no­sis. I want to be sup­port­ive but ul­ti­mately I’m scared that sex­u­ally it’ll be a disas­ter as I re­ally do love fre­quent sex and know I couldn’t live without it at this stage as I’m still young.

I re­ally like him and could see this as a long-term re­la­tion­ship but have to be sen­si­ble too and think of my own needs.

I should have left my mar­riage many years be­fore I did, I’m not get­ting any years back and I don’t want to waste these pre­cious years.

AERECTILE dys­func­tion causes a huge amount of stress to both part­ners and in my ex­pe­ri­ence one of the main rea­sons for the part­ner to be up­set is when the man re­fuses to do any­thing about it. So I am re­ally happy that your man has al­ready started look­ing for help by vis­it­ing his GP. In do­ing so he will have ruled out any phys­i­cal causes for his prob­lem, and that is very im­por­tant.

My first sug­ges­tion is to go with your in­stinct, which was to stop try­ing for pen­e­tra­tive sex for the mo­ment.

You were ab­so­lutely right to do this be­cause re­peated neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences would re­in­force the fact that this is a prob­lem and make it an even big­ger one.

It is so won­der­ful that you have found each other, both hav­ing come from a pre­vi­ous un­happy re­la­tion­ship. But the re­la­tion­ship is very new and that in it­self will be con­tribut­ing to the prob­lem. He must be de­lighted and ex­cited to be with you, hav­ing al­ready re­alised that you have so much in com­mon and that there is a very strong at­trac­tion. As a re­sult he will want to do ev­ery­thing to please you and be­cause you have a healthy sex­ual ap­petite and en­joy sex so much he will par­tic­u­larly want to please you sex­u­ally. This he has al­ready done with oral sex, but his erec­tile prob­lem is caus­ing prob­lems lead­ing, no doubt, to a huge amount of per­for­mance anx­i­ety on his part.

Your new lover is com­ing from a back­ground of be­ing run down and called im­po­tent sex­u­ally. This may have caused mas­sive dam­age to his ego and to his be­lief in him­self sex­u­ally, there­fore leav­ing him much more sus­cep­ti­ble to sex­ual dys­func­tion than some­body com­ing from a pre­vi­ously sat­is­fac­tory sex­ual life.

So what should you do? It is far too early in the re­la­tion­ship to seek pro­fes­sional help — a sex ther­a­pist will usu­ally have a rule of thumb that the cou­ple should be in a re­la­tion­ship for at least six months if they are to be taken into treat­ment. The rea­son for this is that early prob­lems of­ten sort them­selves out as trust de­vel­ops be­tween the cou­ple and the re­la­tion­ship it­self blos­soms. So try to re­lax a lit­tle with re­gard to hav­ing pen­e­tra­tive sex and in­stead en­joy all the other parts of be­ing sex­ual with him that you love, as well as en­joy­ing his com­pany, his friend­ship, his charm and any­thing else that you are find­ing par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive.

In any event if you were to at­tend a sex ther­a­pist one of the very first in­struc­tions would be a ban on any­thing sex­ual for the first few weeks of treat­ment — in­stead, the cou­ple are asked to con­cen­trate on be­ing sen­sual, with lots of lovely mas­sages and non-sex­ual touch­ing be­com­ing the norm.

It is of­ten re­marked by men who are in sex ther­apy that be­cause of the ban be­ing im­posed on sex­ual in­ter­course they are able to re­lax enough to al­low the blood flow once more into the pe­nis, with the ob­vi­ous re­sult, which helps them re­gain their con­fi­dence and get back to nor­mal func­tion­ing.

Con­doms are a big prob­lem with any­one suf­fer­ing from ED. Be­cause the very fact of putting on a con­dom presses the ‘pause’ but­ton in the whole arousal process, if there are any neg­a­tive thoughts float­ing around they will have time to gain ground and the man is back into per­for­mance anx­i­ety mode even as he be­gins to un­wrap the con­dom.

How­ever some form of con­tra­cep­tion is nec­es­sary (hope­fully you have had the Sex­u­ally Trans­mit­ted Dis­eases con­ver­sa­tion) and you may wish to talk to your GP about an al­ter­na­tive to con­doms for you to use, even for a short time.

All this may be dif­fi­cult for you to con­tem­plate, al­though from what you say you are very smit­ten with this man and you may be will­ing to slow things down for a while in the hope of achiev­ing ul­ti­mate sex­ual and emo­tional hap­pi­ness.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence it is highly likely that, in time, this will in­deed be achieved. You can con­tact Mary O’conor anony­mously by vis­it­ing dear­

or email dear­mary@ in­de­pen­

or write c/o 27-32 Tal­bot St,

Dublin 1. All cor­re­spon­dence will be treated in con­fi­dence. Mary O’conor re­grets that she is un­able to an­swer any ques­tions


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